(A different) Theodore Roosevelt and the myth of the… Nokia 3310
The news that the iconic Nokia 3310 is making a comeback has to be considered as the best of 2017 so far. Millions of phone owners around the UK lament their delicate and expensive smartphones, and reminisce the glory days of week-long battery lives with Navy Seal-levels of indestructability.
The original 3310 went on sale an unbelievable 17 years ago, and I am fairly certain there is one lurking in a drawer at my parent’s house, with two bars of battery left, paused in the middle of a particularly impressive game of snake that I had no hope of finishing.
Mere moments after the revival was announced, and the internet was ‘broken’. Social media platforms were flooded with reports of the 3310’s legendary toughness. Urban myths were recounted around late-night camp fires of 3310s surviving a 60-degree wash cycle, sky diving mishaps and even being run over by a tank.
So much has changed since the humble 3310 achieved legendary status; which led me to consider what else has changed over the last two decades: Now, if we don’t know the answer to a question, most of us will Google it. From cinema times to the meaning of life, there is no longer such a thing as a question we can’t find an answer to.
Gone are the days of the ‘big’ weekend/ Christmas shop – although some seem to enjoy the madness of claustrophobic carparks and wonky trolley induced rage. Instead, we can now order pretty much anything on our tablets from the comfort of our sofas, and have it delivered directly to our doors.
Technology not only means that we now have the world at our fingers tips, but the world we live in is also a lot safer for it.
A client of ours, Thatcham Research, recently held an event to celebrate 20 years of Euro NCAP where we crashed a Rover 100 at 40mph. Sad as it was to condemn one of Longbridge’s finest to the scrap heap in the sky, there was an important point to be made. Since the last 3310 was sold, the Euro NCAP programme has saved more than 182,000 from death or serious injury on UK roads - As good as the plucky little 3310 is, I am yet to hear about one which has saved its owner from mortal danger, however I am more than happy to be corrected. Our phones may not be as sturdy nowadays, but we do at least have vehicles which can identify danger for us; they can brake for us, steer around obstacles, read road signs and even park themselves.
So while I am more than happy to take a trip down memory lane every now and again, I would prefer to make it home in one piece tonight. Until then, I will dig out my Backstreet Boys album while reminiscing about Woolworths pick and mix, and ten pence Freddos. Greedy little frog.